DELMARVA Attractions

East End Lighthouse Tour

Cape Water Tours runs boat trips, including an inside tour, to the East End Lighthouse on the Delaware Breakwater.  The excursion originates from the Cape May Lewes Ferry Terminal in Lewes, DE several times a week during warm weather. Cape Water Tours worked with the Delaware Bay Authority to open the lighthouse for tours. Our schedule finally allowed us to join Cape Water Tours on the last cruise of the season to the lighthouse.

Captain Dave, the owner, led our small group.  In the cruise to the lighthouse and breakwater we learned an incredible amount of Delaware history and information from him. Capt. Dave’s knowledge made this trip exceptional.

The breakwater has been in place since the 1880’s with the original lighthouse Fresnel lens still in the East End Lighthouse. At one time a lighthouse existed on the western end of the breakwater, however a storm eventually destroyed it. Construction of the breakwater was a feat unto itself considering 835,000 tons of stone are in the breakwater. Safe harbor for ships during storms prompted the need for a  breakwater and at times nearly 200 ships anchored in the harbor looking for safety.

Approaching the East End Lighthouse by boat a heron perched on the massive stones. It’s difficult to image the process moving those stones into place.

Along the stone wall of the breakwater one can view the inscribed stone commemorating the breakwater construction staff.

20171018_135615_Breakwall Construction Plaque

Inscribed stone commemorating the breakwater construction staff

After docking, Capt. Dave led us inside the lighthouse and up to the top. The interior of the lighthouse remains quite rustic. We imagined living in these small quarters, with two other lighthouse keepers. To make life miserable, the heavy fog in the area resulted in the fog horn sounding for long periods of time.

From the Lighthouse balcony we viewed the full extent of the breakwater, the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse in the distance, a surf scoter duck and stone structures out in the bay built to serve as icebreakers.

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On the far end of the breakwater ruins of the West End Lighthouse remain visible.

20171018_131625_Ruins of West End Lighthouse

Leaving the Lighthouse the tall imposing structure shown beautifully against the blue sky.


20171018_133208_East End Lighthouse in the blue sky

Vertical view of East End Lighthouse

With time left in our tour our Captain cruised to the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse. This imposing structure is a working lighthouse, automated and powered by a solar panel.

A highly educational experience and a great tour.

20171018_134913_Approaching the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse by boat

Approaching the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse by Boat

Cape Water Taxi Information:

Services: “On the Rocks” restaurant at the Ferry Terminal. Other restaurants etc. in Lewes.

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